Saturday, June 30, 2007

International Consortium Hosts Nepali Supreme Court Advocate to Discuss “Risks and Challenges of Building a Democratic and Constitutional State in Nepal.”

Washington, D.C. – The International Consortium on Religion, Culture, and Dialogue hosted Nepali Supreme Court Advocate and Constitutional expert, Mr. Dinesh Tripathi, on Wednesday in a talk titled, “Risks and Challenges of Building a Democratic and Constitutional State in Nepal.” The event coincided with the Consortium’s release of its first Briefing Paper of the same title written by Mr. Tripathi. (The paper can be downloaded here:

Tripathi is an international human rights and constitutional lawyer. Shortly after King Gyanendra’s military coup Mr. Tripathi filed a series of public interest lawsuits in the Nepali Supreme Court to protect rule of law, defend individual liberty, and challenge the autocratic rule of the King. He also represented and pleaded successfully in the Nepali Supreme Court to free a large number of political detainees arrested by the royal regime. Currently he is working to mobilize support from international civil society and to move international public opinion in favor of human rights and democracy in Nepal.

“Human rights should be central to the new constitution-making process. The basic purpose of any constitutional state is to ensure and maximize the fundamental rights of the people and limit the power of the government,” Tripathi proclaimed. “The new Constitution of Nepal should not only guarantee the civil and political rights, but should also incorporate the so-called second and third generation rights such as economic, social, and cultural rights as well as collective and environmental rights.”

Tripathi outlined several steps to attaining this goal: “Nepal needs a federal structure of governance in order to check centralized government power, create a more accessible government, ensure fair representation, and establish the ownership of resources,” he claimed. “The new constitution should provide the basis and framework for an inclusive, diverse culture by providing fair and equitable representation.”

Tripathi continued, “Detailed constitutional arrangements need to be made in Nepal in order to bring the military under the control of the elected leadership of the country. The military must be accountable to the elected political government.”

Mr. Tripathi also called for the creation of a human rights commission that is specifically empowered by the Constitution to carry out its function without undue interference from the executive branch.

“Nepal is in a fragile state. History has proven that state-building cannot be undertaken by governments alone; it requires civil society’s involvement, as well,” said Kyle M. Ballard, Director of the International Consortium on Religion, Culture, and Dialogue. “Dinesh Tripathi has a clear vision for Nepal’s Constitution and has a lot of insight regarding many of the issues facing Nepal. The Consortium, in working with Dinesh Tripathi, aims to raise the issue of fundamental rights in Nepal and bring them to the forefront of the constitution-building process.”

International Consortium Fellow, Brian Aurelio, a student at Georgetown University’s Law School, will be traveling to Nepal next month when he will be meeting with representatives from many NGOs, universities, and government agencies. While there, Aurelio will be involved in several human rights workshops and will be visiting refugee camps, as well.

“Nepal is in dire need of international attention and effort. Though it continues to suffer instability and conflict, the situation in Nepal can greatly benefit from the work of organizations like the Consortium and people like Dinesh Tripathi,” Ballard said. “Groups and individuals from around the world must assume their responsibility as custodians of fundamental rights everywhere”

The International Consortium on Religion, Culture, and Dialogue is a program of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy—a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, non-partisan, inter-religious organization. The Consortium links academic institutions from around the world to harvest the efforts of a global civil society in regard to human rights, religious freedom, and cross-cultural understanding. It was developed with the understanding that freedom of thought and belief is fundamental to the stability and development of both individual countries and the international community as a whole.

Friday, June 29, 2007

CIAA files case against NRB governor, executive director
The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on Friday filed a corruption case at the Special Court against Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Governor Bijaya Nath Bhattarai and Executive Director of the NRB's Financial Institutions Regulation Department Surendra Man Pradhan.
The CIAA has alleged Governor Bhattrai and Pradhan of misusing over Rs 195 million received as foreign aid for financial sector reform programme.

As directed by the anti-graft body, the police arrested Pradhan and presented before the Special Court today. The CIAA charge-sheet mentions Bhattarai has been avoiding arrest. The Special Court has ordered Pradhan to appear before the court on Sunday.
The CIAA is also investigating another case of Bhattarai for misusing the national treasury during the Jana Aandolan II. Rayamajhi commission recommended action against Bhattarai for misuse of national treasury. The government had earlier barred him from flying to Bangladesh.
The CIAA has demanded Rs 25 million penalty from the two accused and two years jail term to each of them.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Former Judge Neupane to Head Panel on Disappearances

The government has formed a commission to probe into the disappearances of civilian population by the state during the Maoist insurgency which lasted through 1996-2006.The panel is to be headed by former Supreme Court justice Narendra Bahadur Neupane while its members are advocate Sher Bahadur KC and Rana Kumar Shrestha.The panel has been formed by the cabinet following intense lobbying by UNOHCHR, with its outgoing Representative Lena Sundh stepping up pressure for it during her term here.She had also stepped up pressure on Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala when she met him on Friday. She has left Nepal at the end of her term on Saturday.

There is no official number of disappearance cases, the Maoists have been saying that some 900 people were disappeared by the state.
HoR should intitiate CJ’s impeachment: NBA prez
Nepal Bar Association (NBA) President Biswa Kant Mainali sought initiative from the interim legislature to proceed with impeachment against Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel on the charge of flouting the code of conduct. "As it is a matter (impeachment) in the domain of the parliament, the parliament should proceed with the process of impeachment after investigating evidences," Mainali said.
Speaking at a talk program at Reporters' Club, Mainali, referring to national and international code of conduct of judges, added that no judge should meet parties to subjudice cases at an individual level. "And if s/he meets, s/he must be punished on the basis of the code of conduct."
Mainali's remarks were in response to a news report on breach of code of conduct for judges by the Chief Justice, published last Friday. The CJ had met RPP (Nepal) Chairman Rabindra Nath Sharma, former Minister Khum Bahadur Khadka and former police officer Kumar Koirala, whose cases were pending in the courts at the time of meeting at his official residence in Baluwatar, Kathmandu, in violation of national and international code of conduct for judges.
Similarly, lawyer-cum-parliamentarian Harihar Dahal sought clarification from the Chief Justice regarding the latter's breach of the code of conduct. "In a democracy, questions are raised but they should also be responded to. The CJ must respond to the news report. Even NBA should probe the code of conduct violation," Dahal said.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cabinet decides to hold CA polls on Nov 22
The meeting of the Council of Ministers Sunday decided to hold the Constituent Assembly elections on November 22 (Mangsir 6).
A meeting of the eight-party leaders on Saturday had mandated the government to announce the date for the CA polls.
An informal meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) of the eight-party alliance held under the coordination of Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel at his office on Saturday gave the consent to the government.
Earlier, while meeting with PM Koirala, the Election Commission had suggested the government to fix election date for November 23.
During an eight-party meeting two weeks ago, Koirala had suggested that the elections be held on November 26.The CA elections had earlier been slated for June 20, but it was postponed after the Election Commission asked more time for the preparations. The polls will be the first post-war elections and the elected body — the CA—will rewrite Nepal's constitution.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Prasai presented before court
Police authorities presented Sitaram Prasai, former chairman of Cottage and Small Industries Development Bank (CSIDB) who faces 16 charges of fraud, at the Kathmandu District Court on Thursday.

Police officials at the Metropolitan Police Range at Singha Durbar presented him at the court at 10:30 am.
Government prosecutors had registered a case against Prasai yesterday accusing him of 16 counts of fraud amounting 338 million rupees while issuing loans from the CSIDB.
In the same fraud case, charge-sheets were also filed against 49 persons including the promoters of the CSIDB and Rastra Bank’s licensed evaluators. The government has sought five years prison term to each of the 50 persons and recovery of a total of 338 million rupees.
Prasai was arrested and handed over to the police by the Maoist youth wing, the Young Communist League (YCL) on June 04.
Court gives clean chit to RPP-N chief in graft case

The Special Court today acquitted former minister and chairman of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal Rabindranath Sharma in a corruption case filed by the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) around four years ago.The CIAA had accused him of amassing property worth around Rs 40 million.A three-member bench of judges Bhoopdhoj Adhikari, Komal Nath Sharma and Cholendra SJB Rana, said the case was taken up by the CIAA after crossing the time limit set by the CIAA Act, and thus, it cannot be accepted.Sharma was also acquitted in another case related to gold smuggling, in which he was one of the defendants.The court, however, convicted the main accused, Janardan Sharma — who was the chief of the Custom Department during Rabindranath Sharma’s tenure — in the case.The bench slapped a one-year jail sentence and Rs 11 million in fine on Janardan Sharma.In the gold smuggling case, the anti-graft body had charged the duo of amassing Rs 1 crore 9 lakh.The bench, however, issued a clean chit to Janardan Sharma on a disproportionate assetscase. The CIAA had accused him of accumulating about Rs 30 million during his tenure as a government employee.
PM appoints members of constitutional council
After five months of the promulgation of the interim constitution, government has finally formed the Constitutional Council.
According to Annapurna Post daily, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, who is constitutionally the chairman of the Council, has appointed three ministers to the council.
They include Peace and Reconstruction Minister Ram Chandra Poudel representing Nepali Congress, Information Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara representing Maoists and Education and Sports Minister Pradip Nepal representing the UML.
According to the interim constitution, Chief Justice, Speaker of the parliament and three ministers appointed by the prime minister would be the members of the council.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Public Hearing Proviso Draws Lawyers' Flak

President of Nepal Bar Association, Bishwokanta Mainali, on Monday said that the constitutional provision seeking public hearing on nominees before their appointment as Supreme Court judges is in violation of the independence of the judiciary."We cannot accept such a provision because it does not make the judiciary independent," he said, adding, "This provision will politicise the judiciary.""This provision also shows that parliamentarians have been making decisions without taking the sensitivity of the institution into account," he said. "Why the parliament took such a decision without consulting the Supreme Court and the NBA?"Mainali was speaking at a programme organised here to welcome Motikaji Sthapit and Basudev Dhungana, the newly-appointed members of the judicial council.Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel called on the judiciary and the NBA to work together to protect the independence of the judiciary. "Vested interests will benefit if we are divided," Paudel said.MP and lawyer Harihar Dahal said, "Though we opposed the insertion of the provision in the constitution, the parliament gave its nod."Former president of the NBA, Shambhu Thapa, and senior advocate Krishna Prasad Bhandari urged the judicial leadership to curb corruption in the judiciary.
ICJ Call to Implement SC Verdict

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) on Monday called upon the government to implement the recent Supreme Court order on disappearance cases.In a statement, the ICJ urged the government to implement the verdict and to punish the culprits. "The Nepal government should quickly implement the recent Supreme Court order to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate the thousands of enforced disappearances," the press release stated."Through this decision, Nepal's Supreme Court has demonstrated the important role any judiciary can play in upholding respect for the rule of law and international human rights principles, even in a country just emerging from conflict," said Wilder Tayler, Deputy Secretary General of the ICJ."This decision should be a source of inspiration to other judiciaries in the world as they struggle to deal with cases involving enforced disappearances," the statement said.

Monday, June 18, 2007

SC summons Jana Aastha men

The Supreme Court issued summons to editors of Jana Aastha Weekly to attend the court to defend a contempt of court charge against them.Last week, the weekly had published a report linking Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel to a sex scandal. Responding to a suo moto notice, a single bench of justice Pawan Kumar Ojha issued the summons.The bench ordered the editor of the weekly Kishor Shrestha, managing director Rajendra Sthapit, sub-editor Chudamani Bhattarai and acting chief of the Jaisi Deval Prison office Rajendra Adhikari to attend the court on June 25 to record their statements.The bench said action should be initiated against the editors as per article 102 (3) of the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007 and section 7 (1) of the Supreme Court Act 1991.Taking the case as a criminal offence, the bench said that the defendants can neither seek the extension of time given to them to attend the court nor can they send their representatives to the court.Joint-registrar Durga Prasad Dawadi and spokesperson for the apex court, had submitted a report to the chief justice, suggesting stern action against the defendants. The chief justice had assigned the case to justice Ojha’s bench for hearing.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

House amends parliamentary regulations
Sunday's sitting of the Interim-Legislature Parliament has amended the parliamentary regulations.
Earlier, chairman of the Parliamentary Regulations Amendment Draft Committee, Asta Laxmi Shakya had presented the committee's report during today's parliamentary proceedings.
The parliamentary regulations were amended after the second round of discussion over them today.
The new rules and regulations have been formulated as per the changes made to the Interim Statute by the second amendment.
The parliamentary regulations come on the heels of the changes made to the Interim Statute as per the second amendment bill that includes provisions to abolish monarchy by two-third parliamentary majority, removal of the Prime Minister by a two-third parliamentary majority, parliamentary hearings for the appointments of Supreme Court Justices and Ambassadors, bar blacklisted persons and Janaandolan suppressors from contending elections and allow Rastriya Prajatantra Party the status of opposition party in parliament.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Court-ordered compensation seldom paid

The Kathmandu District Court (KDC) had, three weeks ago, ordered the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Kathmandu District Administration Office to pay Rs 70,000 each to Speaker Subas Nembang and CPN-UML Chief Whip Mahendra Bahadur Pandey as compensation for their illegal detention during the king’s direct rule.“We will approach the authorities after the court prepares a full text of the judgment,” Advocate Tika Ram Bhattarai, who pleaded for Nembang and Pandey, told this .This is, however, not the case of Nembang and Pandey alone. Scores of common people have been waiting for implementation of compensation verdicts for years.Another client of Bhattarai, Ambika Bhandari, was ordered to be paid Rs 50,000 as compensation in a similar case.Human rights activist Gopal Siwakoti and journalist Narayan Dutta Devekota are among those waiting for implementation of similar verdicts.Court had directed the authorities to pay them Rs 50,000 each. The Kathmandu District Administration Office (KDAO) recently sought the Home Ministry’s initiation in releasing budget so that it can pay Rs 50,000 to one Ganga Bahadur Thapa to comply with the order.The KDC had directed the Home Ministry and the KDAO to compensate at least 17 persons in the last five years. However, only a handful of them have so far received the amount.Three torture victims — Amar Narayan Lohiya, Laxmi Prasad Paudel and Ganesh Rai — are still waiting to be paid.Since 2002, the KDC has heard 44 cases for compensation for illegal detention. Judgment on 27 cases are yet to be given. Eleven have been settled and authorities directed to compensate them. Six cases have been dismissed.“Cases seeking compensation shot up in the KDC after the state of emergency in 2002. Prior to that, only a few cases used to be registered,” KDC Registrar Krishna Ram Koirala said.A victim can claim compensation under the Public Peace and Security Act.“The authorities concerned do not always have funds to compensate people. They have to wait till the Finance Ministry releases the budget. This is one of the reasons for the delayed payments,” another advocate said.“There are no provisions in our domestic laws to compensate a person through the property of the perpetrator as the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment demands. As such, getting the compensation amount from government authorities is not that easy,” he added.
-Ananta Raj Luitel, himalayantimes

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Parliament approves second amendment; House authorised to abolish monarchy
Five months after it was promulgated, the Interim Constitution has been subjected to second amendment after the parliament, with overwhelming majority, approved the Second Amendment Bill on Wednesday evening.
When the bill was presented for voting, it received 281 votes in favour and only two votes against the proposal of amendment.
The Second Amendment Bill was tabled in the parliament by Home Minister Krishna Sitaula on behalf of Law Minister Narendra Bikram Nemwang.
Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, in his statement, said that the second amendment will ensure the Constituent Assembly elections. As he was not present at the parliament during Wednesday's session, Home Minister Sitaula read out his statement.
Likewise, participating in the discussion of the bill, MPs welcomed the second amendment hailing the inclusion of a provision whereby the parliament can abolish monarchy.
MPs Ananda Prasad Dhungana, Minendra Rijal, Gobinda Bikram Shah, Narayan Man Bijukchhe, among others, spoke at the parliament.
Earlier, the Special Committee of the parliament formed on Tuesday and headed by Nepali Congress Democratic leader Purna Bahadur Khadka had approved the bill with some changes in the draft presented by the cabinet.
The draft passed by the committee has provision for removing the monarchy by 2/3 majority of the parliament, if the cabinet tables a proposal for the same. The bill proposed by the cabinet had stated that a fourth of the House could table such a proposal.
There is another crucial provision according to which no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister can be tabled once in six months. The bill presented by the government had fixed that time to one year.
The bill says 2/3 majority of the House can vote the Prime Minister out.
The Special Committee also agreed to incorporate the demand made by the CPN (UML) for parliamentary hearing on appointments of Supreme Court judges, ambassadors and heads of constitutional bodies.
According to the bill, constituent assembly election will be held in Mangsir (mid-November to mid-December).
Home Minister Krishna Prasad Situala had, on behalf of the government, had answered the queries of the committee members regarding the disputed provisions in the amendment bill. Speaker Subash Nemwang had also participated in the daylong debate.
The Interim Constitution, which was promulgated on January 15, had been subjected to first amendment on March 9.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Recent SC orders crucial in ending impunity: NHRC
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has said the two recent Supreme Court orders to the government in connection with enforced disappearances and the death of NHRC official Dayaram Pariyar in police firing are crucial in ending impunity.
“At a time when most of the recommendations of the Commission for compensation to the victims and their families and action against the guilty remain unimplemented, our office hopes that these court orders will prove to be milestones in ending impunity,” a statement issued by the NHRC said.
Deciding a number of similar writ petitions, the apex court had on June 1st ordered the government to pay compensation to the families of involuntarily disappeared persons and form an inquiry commission to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Likewise, the SC last week had ordered the government to take action against the security personnel found guilty of shooting NHRC official Pariyar to death during an agitation in Janakpur in March.
According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), whereabouts of more than 800 missing during the insurgency remain still unknown.
Almost all involuntary disappearances by the state occurred during the decade-long Maoist insurgency.
Gupta gets clean chit from Special Court

Former Minister and Congress leader Jaya Prakash Prasad Gupta has gotten a clean chit from the Special Court absolving him of charges of corruption.
The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had filed charges of financial irregularities against Gupta four years ago.
However, the Special Court has concluded that there is no sufficient reason to establish that Gupta had amassed properties beyond the known sources of income.
The CIAA had accused Gupta of committing irregularities worth Rs 20.8 million.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

CJ complains civil society of being prejudiced
The Chief Justice Dilip Poudel has complained that the civil society was acting in a prejudiced manner when it came to judiciary.
Talking to reporters after returning home from Malaysia, he complained that even though corruption and irregularities existed in all organs of society, the judiciary was being targeted in a prejudiced and biased manner. He rued that media, too, treated judiciary unfairly in this regard.
When asked about the recent CD episode – when media conducted a sting operation to expose cases of corruption in judicial administration -, CJ Poudel replied that a committee was looking into it.
"There is a three-member committee, which is probing the issue. I cannot comment on that when the committee is doing its job," Poudel said.
Poudel returned on Saturday from Malaysia where he attended the Asia Pacific conference on judicial reform.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Court orders probe into HR activist's death

The Supreme Court Friday issued an order to the government to investigate into the case of the murder of human rights activist Dayaram Pariyar and local Ram Chandra Yadav under criminal jurisdiction and finalise the case at the earliest.A division bench of justices Balaram KC and Kalyan Shrestha ordered to the government, including Home Ministry and the Police Headquarters, to immediately furnish replies to the two-year-old case.Pariyar, an employee of the National Human Rights Commission, and Yadav were shot dead in 2062 BS.Advocate Ratna Bahadur Bagchand and late Dayaram's brother Prakash Chandra Pariyar filed a writ petition demanding actions against DSP Prakash Raj Sharma and others, accusing them of being involved in the shooting.
Form panel for scribes’ salary: SC

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the government to form a remuneration and compensation committee as provisioned in the Working Journalists Act, to determine and review salary and compensation for Nepalese journalists from time to time.
The SC issued the order as the committee has not been formed to date. The Act itself has been in place since 1996 but remains unimplemented.
In the case of the salary committee, journalists remain underpaid, uncompensated and deprived of timely increases in salary.
According to the Act, whose revision has been sought by journalists ever since its promulgation, the committee is responsible for recommending the salary of journalists to the government and reviewing it from time to time. Besides, the committee is also responsible for determining compensation for journalists in case they are injured or killed in the course of their work.
Responding to a writ petition, Justices Bal Ram KC and Kalyan Shrestha also ordered the government to form a committee to hear the complaints of working journalists against their management, as provisioned in the Working Journalists Regulations.
Likewise, the court has also ordered the government to appoint a press registrar as provisioned in the Print and Publication Act 1992. This official is responsible for maintaining records on newspapers in the country.

Friday, June 08, 2007

International Humanitarian Laws Being Ignored: ICRC

The painful humanitarian consequences of the decade-long armed conflict in Nepal clearly show the weak implementation of international law instruments, the head of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) in Nepal, said on Thursday.Mary Werntz, the ICRC head in Nepal, stated this on Thursday on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the addition of Protocols I and II to the 1949 Geneva Conventions.The ICRC stated that it would highlight the importance of these landmark treaties through a series of special events.The Additional Protocols provide a crucial legal framework for the protection of civilians in armed conflict. However, they remain as relevant in conflicts on Thursday as when they were adopted 30 years ago, a statement issued by ICRC said.At present, 167 countries, including Nepal, are party to Additional Protocol I and 163 countries to Additional Protocol II. This makes the 1977 Additional Protocols among the most widely accepted legal instruments in the world.In Nepal, the newly established National Commission on International Humanitarian Law will examine the protocols as one of their first tasks.It should be noted that the 1977 Additional Protocols were drawn up essentially as a response to the increased suffering of civilians in armed conflicts.The two protocols introduced essential rules relating to the conduct of hostilities and the methods and means of warfare, with an aim to strengthen protection for civilians. They formulate the important principle of distinction between civilians and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives.Nepal is a party to six of the major international human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. As a party to the treaties, it is obliged to adhere to human rights laws as set out in these instruments.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cabinet approves second statute amendment bill
The government Wednesday approved the second amendment bill on the Interim Constitution.
The second amendment will incorporate the decision to hold elections at the end of November, the eight-party decision to reassess the Election Constituency Delineation Commission (ECDC) report and the agreements reached to address the demands of various agitating groups, according to sources.
The previous bill regarding holding the CA elections on June 20 has been rolled back after the Election Commission (EC) announced that the elections were not possible by that date. The amendment bill registered at the parliament in mid-April will be scrapped.
The government will now register the bill at the interim legislature-parliament for its approval.
As per the constitutional provision, the country had to hold Constituent Assembly elections by mid-June. However, top leaders of the eight-party alliance recently agreed to reschedule the polls by November-December as the EC expressed its inability to conduct the election by mid-June due to lack of sufficient preparation time, necessary laws and a conducive atmosphere for holding them in free and fair manner.
The amendment also includes a provision disallowing April Uprising suppressers indicated by the Rayamajhi Commission to contest the CA elections, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Narendra Bikram Nemwang told reporters after the meeting.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Govt preparing second amendment of constitution
With the objective of correcting the constitutional provision regarding the date of Constituent Assembly elections, the government is preparing to introduce second amendment of the interim constitution.
The constitution promulgated on January 15 has a provision, which states that the government will hold the CA by mid- June. Unless this clause is amended within mid-June, the country will face constitutional crisis.
The Article 33 (a) of the interim constitution states that the government will "focus all its attention to conduct a free and impartial election for the members of the Constituent Assembly within Jestha 2064 (by June, 2007)."
At the meeting of State Affairs Committee of the legislative parliament, on Tuesday, the members and the Home Minister discussed the issue of second amendment.
In fact, the parties had already prepared a draft for second amendment stating that the CA elections will be held on June 20. But after Election Commission's statement regarding its inability to hold the polls by that time, this draft had to be further refined.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

OHCHR lauds SC decision

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Nepal, welcomed the Supreme Court’s “ground-breaking and historic” decision on disappearance cases.“The Supreme Court’s historic decision is a highly positive development and must be fully and promptly implemented,” said Lena Sundh, the OHCHR representative in Nepal.In a statement, she expressed hope that the SC decision of June 1 will “boost the efforts” of victims and their families in finding out what happened to their loved ones and “in their pursuit of justice, as well as in ending impunity for persons responsible for serious human rights violations in Nepal.”The SC ordered the government to enact a law that criminalises enforced disappearance; establish a high level commission of inquiry on disappearances; investigate and prosecute persons responsible for disappearances and provide compensation to the victims and their families.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Court staff demand judicial allowance
Employees of the country's judiciary have demanded that they be given "judicial" allowance amounting to 50 per cent of their salary and a timely increments in salary.
The first-ever national conference of court employees, which concluded on Saturday, passed the demands.
Binod Adhikari, newly elected president of Nepal Judiciary Employees Concern Committee (NJECC), a forum of court staff, said the conference has demanded that the Supreme Court make public its stand on the recent country report of Transparency International on corruption in the Nepali judiciary. The report alleged that Nepali judiciary is one of the most "corruption-inflicted" institutions.
The conference also demanded that the proposed new Civil Service Act be enacted as early as possible.
The conference elected a 39-member central committee headed by Adhikari while Ishwor Acharya and Nagendra Kumar Kalakheti have been elected as senior vice president and general secretary, respectively.